Mets End Five Game Losing Streak with 11-7 Victory over Atlanta

Flushing, NY—-The second game of the three game weekend series between New York and Atlanta 0n Saturday night began after a one hour and two minute rain delay. The wait was well worthwhile for the Amazinns as they ended a five game losing streak with an 11-7 victory.

The Mets did not waste much time after the start of the contest to put numbers on the scoreboard. With one out in the first, Justin Turner blasted a solo home run into the rightfield seats. Daniel Murphy followed with a solid single to center. He scored on a David Wright double that reached the left-centerfield wall. The Mets scored the first two runs before Tommy Hanson threw his 11th pitch of the game.

The Braves batted around and scored five runs in the top of the third without hitting the baseball especially hard. Five timely singles, a base on balls and two ground ball outs that drove in runs did the damage against Mets starter Jonathon Niese. Mets catcher Josh Thole commented, “It was more misexecuted pitches than anything.”

Two of the base hits in the third extended hitting streaks. Braves rookies Freddie Freeman, the National League Rookie of the Month in July, extended his hitting streak to 20 consecutive games with an RBI single to center with no one out. The first sacker’s current mark is the MLB rookie high for 2011. If Freeman hits safely in the next three games, he will tie Alvin Dark, who hit safely in 23 straight games in 1948, for the Braves rookie record.

The next batter, Dan Uggla dribbled a ground ball down the third base line for an infield single. The hit extended his hitting streak to a career high of 27 games. Later in the contest, he hit his 24th homer of the season. The accomplishment of the duo is only the third time in the majors that teammates have had concurrent 20 or more game hitting streaks at the same time.

The Mets scored two additional runs in the bottom of the same inning to cut the deficit to a single run, 5-4. Angel Pagan walked and scored on a two-run homer by Jason Bay. The leftfielder, who has heard more than his share of jeers since joining the Mets, was cheered when the ball he hit entered the leftfield seats. After the contest, Mets skipper Terry Collins said, “I thought getting the two runs back was very good for us.”

A lead-off home run by Josh Thole tied the score at 5 in the fourth. Later in the inning, the Mets again took the lead, 7-5, as Turner hit his second homer of the contest, a two-run blast with Jose Reyes on base. Turner had 191 at bats without a home run before hitting his homer in the first. His two long balls marked his first multi-homer game in the majors.

The teams swung the bats very well as every position player in both starting lineups hit safely.

Each team scored several more runs, but the Mets advantage remained in effect. Niese, who hurled five innings, earned his 11th victory of 2011.

The rubber game of the series on Sunday afternoon will pit Dillon Gee (10-3) of the mets against Mike Minor (1-2).

Posted under Alvin Dark, Base On Balls, Consecutive Games, Daniel Murphy, First Sacker, Game Losing Streak, Game Weekend, Hitting Streaks, Jonathon Niese, Josh Thole, Minute Rain Delay, New York Mets, Rookie Record, Second Game, Single Run, Straight Games, Top Story

This post was written by Howard Goldin on August 7, 2011

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Long day for Mets in Twin Bill Loss to Rockies

The four-game series for the New York Mets at Citi Field with the Colorado Rockies is one that could epitomize where the season is going. New York had leads of two runs in all four that would not last long which contributed to a Colorado sweep.

And the Mets are glad they won’t see Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki until the two teams meet again at Coors Field next month. He homered in four consecutive games at Citi Field, a record at the three-year old park for a visiting or home player. The 26 year old finished the series with a .625 batting average (10-16) with five runs scored, one double, four walks and eight runs batted in.

That was one of the contributing factors that led to New York dropping a twin bill to the Rockies concluding a losing first home stand of the season. They have lost eight of nine, including five straight.  Pitching and defense has not been what manager Terry Collins envisioned as the team embarked on a brief three-game road series in Atlanta.

“We are going to Atlanta and think about what needs to be addressed,” said Collins after a long day at Citi Field .The Mets dropped the first game 6-5, and the nightcap 9-4. The second game was in reach after another two run lead. Then a chopped ground ball to Brad Emas at second, one he could not handle allowed a run to score.

That would lead to more opportunity for the Rockies, who managed to get many of them in the series because of costly miscues by the Mets. Dexter Fowler got a single giving Colorado the 5-4 lead, starter Chris Capuano (1-1) was lifted. And then Taylor Buchholz allowed Jonathan Herrera to hit a three-run homer to right, second of his career.

So the first seven home games at Citi Field have had a recurring theme. The bullpen leaves a lot to be desired, and on the field the Mets are making too many costly mistakes that allowed the opposing team to score and get the win. Earlier this week, Collins admitted it was frustrating. It got worse when he was asked about the losing streak, and how his team played before the home fans the past week after starting the season with a 3-3 road trip at Florida and Philadelphia.

“Depressing,” was the word now used by Collins. “We’re better than this and we’ll play better than this. I still believe we are going to straighten this out. We showed too much promise in spring training. This is not or how we wanted to show our fans.”

However there were some positives in an otherwise dismal Mets clubhouse. Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a fourth inning two-run single to center field in the second game. He had two triples in the series and is getting on base with the extra base hit.

“We need to play better baseball,” said Reyes when asked if there was any sign of panic with the Mets heading to Atlanta with a 4-9 mark. “We have a better team. A loss is a loss. We need to turn this around.”

The four-game home run streak tied the longest stretch of Tulowitzki’s career. He had a similar streak from September 15-19 in 2009. “I definitely had a good series,” he said. The Rockies doubleheader win extended their best 12 game start (10-2) in franchise history and it was their first road series win on the road against the Mets since May of 2002.

“A lot of times you come on the road, you get down late, sixth, seventh inning,” commented Tulowitzki, “and you shut it down, get ready to go home. This team does not do that at all. We’re a bunch of guys who don’t quit.”

“When he gets hot, he’s a very talented player,” said Rockies manager Jim Tracy about Tulowitzki.  Reyes and the Mets also know that Tulowitzki is a talented player who can make an impact as three of the four games were lost by one run.

New York lost the opener Thursday afternoon, a game that opened the twin bill caused by a Tuesday rain out that was supposed to open the series. In that game Reyes homered closing the gap to 6-3, but Huston Street closed the win for Colorado as R.A. Dickey dropped his second consecutive start after going six innings.

For the Mets, now it is frustration and according to Collins,” We can win 10 in a row, five in a row. That’s baseball. The object is to play better, that’s my job.” It has to get better soon or quickly in April this season will be meaningless come June.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring766@aol.com

Posted under Bullpen, Colorado Rockies, Consecutive Games, Coors, Coors Field, Costly Mistakes, Dexter, Emas, First Game, Game Road, Game Series, Home Games, Miscues, New York Mets, Rich Mancuso, Second Game, Shortstop, Starter Chris Capuano, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on April 15, 2011

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See Your Four Aces And Raise You A Joker

You know we have endless material to write daily articles on the dysfunction and demise of the Mets. I fully planned to take advantage of this not only because of the abundance of low hanging fruit but also the way it fits in so nicely with my years of frustration with this team.

However, while I will continue to call a spade a spade, call out unspeakable wrongs, do a fair amount of second guessing  when obviously called for and the like – I have decided to attempt to buy  into some of the things the triumvirate are trying to accomplish.

I stick to my guns regarding not attending the games, not supporting SNY network, basically hitting the Wilpons in the pocketbook until they sell  to somebody  that will go all in to commit to a winner year after year . We deserve no less than that and would not be wrong in demanding it after 50 years.

I am not naïve enough to not know that a fan is a fan. Any real fan, especially a Met fan knows you can’t stop watching. You can’t stop rooting and hoping. It’s part of who you are. It is a lifetime commitment and can’t be turned on and off like a faucet. I have MLB Extra Innings. I declined SNY.  I watch them on ESPN and FOX when they are on. I think I do my part fulfilling my need to watch while limiting any benefits to the Wilpons.

In any case, back to  current events. A .500 road trip against division opponents who were expected to beat us like drums is not all that bad of a start. The vaunted Phillies were lucky to even win the second game of the series, and thus the series. Each team dominated one game. It is somewhat obvious that the best we have at least in theory is a joker to put up against their 4 aces. That is if you insist on labeling Big Pelf an ace, and therefore forcing us to reclassify him as a joker. Niese went against their Ace of Spades and if Wright  came through early, and Niese being as young as he  is, could  have worked with a lead and got on a bit of a confidence, momentum building roll the 11-0 game might have been a very different story. Sometimes the score really does not reflect the game. Our 7-1 victory over Hamels was just as dominating.

One thing they have to stop doing is labeling everything. What is the purpose of calling Pelfrey your ace until Santana gets back? Just let him pitch, let him learn to change speeds, get an out pitch and see what happens. Otherwise start looking into what we can get for him. But no need to put him front and center with almost no upside and a strong chance for failure and embarrassment to both the player and the organization. Pagan should be a good centerfielder. Talking him up as the natural with a rifle arm AND a guy that is going to hit 300 with 25HRS and 100 RBI will bury him in expectations and undue pressure. I have seen him surrounding balls in center, very weak throws to third and home and as could have been expected his hitting is still a bit off so far this season.

David Wright being anointed our fearless leader and savior. Why? He is a very good third baseman. He failed numerous times with 2 and 3  men on base during the Phillies series. He came through once. As we all know if he came through 2 out of 6 times he is an all star. 1 out of  6 is a failure. What is a very thin line comes across as miles apart between a winner and a loser – because of expectations and because of necessity due to the lack of more viable options. Don’t label him and let’s see 1 or 2 other guys pick him up in those situations and before we know it he may come though consistently 3 out of 8 times. Hall of  Fame numbers.

Harris and Hairston are exactly what they are. They will never sustain hitting at a high level  if they play too much. Once a week fill ins and pinch hitting.  You want to develop people ,work in Duda, Evans, Murphy.

We have Flores, van Dekker, Havens, Vaughn, Familia, Mejia, Harvey,Holt , Valdespin, Tejada,  Niewenhaus, and of course Fernando. We have prospects.  Develop them. Develop some  of them to free  up existing players  as trade bait. Package some of them to get  studs back to play with  some of the  existing star players if that works better.  Lose the tunnelvision. Cast a wide net. As much as I love Ike Davis there is no way the  Wilpons even think about  Pujols if he ever was available – based on the fact that we are already set at first.  I think the Yankees had 3 first baseman set when Texiara  became available.

Not sure about the triumvirate’s current philosophy but I know they were never scared to sell high or trade stars for studs. Moneyball or just no money being the driving force or whatever, they all made some nice moves over the years.

Posted under 4 Aces, Ace Of Spades, Demise, Division Opponents, Faucet, Four Aces, Joker, Lifetime Commitment, Low Hanging Fruit, Mets, Mlb Extra Innings, New York Mets, Niese, Phillies, Pocketbook, Road Trip, Second Game, Second Guessing, Spade, Top Story, Triumvirate

This post was written by Frank Salamone on April 8, 2011

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